Grace for the Chronic Perfectionist

Posted by Janai Tedder on Nov 22, 2016 3:42:29 PM



I’m a student. I’m a collegiate athlete. I’m a youth pastor’s wife. I’m a friend, sister, daughter and employee. My life encompasses several roles I fulfill on a daily basis which is often very challenging. How on earth do I manage it? To be honest, I don’t know. A year ago, I never would have been able to accomplish this much. However, the lessons I have learned over the years prepared me for this time and I have a hunch these few lessons are the secret to my success.


Due to chronic perfectionism, it’s easier for me to have grace for others over myself. Often times, the amount of pressure I put on myself, whether with hgftcp_1.jpgousehold chores, on the soccer field or in the classroom, is more than I can bear. This leaves me with anxiety and tears of hopelessness. When I was younger, my dad used to take me aside and tell me how proud he was of me, that I needn’t be so hard on myself and that he would always be there to support me. He taught me that the standard isn’t perfection but my best. This gave me the freedom to be exactly who God has created me to be rather than some unobtainable version of myself.


After moving to South Carolina from my childhood home in Colorado, my husband taught me one of my greatest lessons in the early stages of our dating relationship. In my desperate homesick moments, he would take my hand and remind me to live in the present. Whatever that moment held was what God had called me to and where he had placed me. Whether that is in the classroom, on the soccer field, or in a new environment, it is where God has placed me. This taught me to be content with God’s plan rather than my own.

My second semester at CIU, I began having tea regularly with a professor. After countless conversations with him, he taught me the value in rest and in doing what your soul loves. In the midst of my tears due to pressure and anxiety, he encouraged me to spend time doing an activity that revives my soul. For me, this means drinking a cup of coffee and looking out the window or going on a walk and sitting by the water’s edge. It's taking the time to be and not do.


Everything I do today is something I am called to. I love being a student and learning. I love being a wife. I love playing soccer. These are things God created me to do. But it’s not easy. I often break out in tears of exhaustion or feel as if my tank is on empty. It is in these moments I remember my lessons.gftcp_2.jpg I remember to give myself grace and do my best, not be perfect. I remember to live in the present moment of what God has called me to. I remember to give myself times of rest that are simply for my soul’s revival.


I don’t know how I accomplish all that I do. However, I do know that I am called to every role that I have and the Lord is faithful to sustain me each day. He is the one who has been preparing me for such a time as this.


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Welcome to Blue & Gold: a mixture of advice for incoming freshmen, student life highlights, and professors' insights into living with a biblical worldview. In short, everything a CIU student needs to know or a place to inform yourself before you apply!



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